Union Square, Somerville MA. An ever evolving cultural square just two and a half miles from Boston’s city center is now home to the newly renovated Brass Union restaurant. The space was originally a police precinct (Precinct was also the name of the previous restaurant to inhabit the space) that, like the square, has seen many changes over the years.

Ken Kelly, a Boston restaurateur with a magic touch, decided to reopen this space keeping on trend with a speakeasy New York tavern feel. The massive basement space was reworked into an aesthetically stimulating restaurant/lounge. The front oak bar offers high top table seating that twists and turns into yet another back bar equipped with low top tables, sleek couches, and board games for those in a playful mood. A built in DJ booth is occupied by a rotating cast of local guest artists spinning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights each week.

Scott MacDonald, the general manager, made sure the space was designed with the late night crowd in mind. “Union Square is a destination spot, and now people can spend the entire night, from dinner to drinks, in just one social setting” Taking what he and the staff enjoy most– communal games, craft cocktails, good music, Scott also made sure that the Somerville spot was a place where cutting edge isn’t just in the decor, but in the food as well.

Cue – Jonathan Kopacz, the restaurant’s executive chef. A Midwestern boy from Wisconsin whose tenacity in the kitchen is making him a household name here in the Hub. A Le Cordon Bleu graduate who migrated from Minneapolis last February, Jon is a Chez Henri alum (he fancy, huh?), and his introduction to Brass Union’s music director Jeff Wallace led him to Somerville, where he is now making a culinary splash.

Not only is the space calculated, but so is the menu, taking the diner from sit-down supper to shareable bites and a nightcap. Like the neighborhood, the menu is a cultural mix of cuisines utilizing regional, locally sourced goods, and putting Jon’s own twist on them. A spicy shrimp with lemon and garlic sauce; chicken liver mouse; a fancy hot dog of choripan and chimichurri…need I say more?

Brass Union’s look, feel, and taste all lend from an identifiable inspiration. Who doesn’t like good food, a great bar, and a fun atmosphere to escape to? If any of the above sounds enticing to you, do check out Brass Union at 70 Union Square for some tasty bites, or maybe a heavy night on the shuffle board table.

Brass Union is now open, as of June 13.

[Photo Credit: Alex Khatchedourian]

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